Why Junk Food Is NOT Banned In My Home
I have a wide variety of junk food items in my kitchen.
A quick glance of the inventory reveals things like potato chips, choco-chip cookies, ice cream, a variety of cheeses, instant noodles, macaroni, chocolate syrup, candies, chocolate bars, juice packs and many such “junk-food-ish” eatables stashed in my kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong, I do try to direct my 4.5-year-old to the right kind of food all the time. And to be fair to him, despite his continuous “NO hungry” status, he does not discriminate between different food items during meal times and eats almost all kinds of vegetables, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy etc. So, giving him a treat once in a while does not seem like the harbinger of ill health to me.
Of course, I do tell him what will happen if he eats too many chips or sugar-laden treats frequently, but banishing them from my home is something I would never like to do.
The main reason why I do not ban junk food in my home is because it demystifies the lure of junk food for our son.
He does not go bonkers over fast food when we eat out. For him, like regular healthy food, it is just another kind of food. No distinction. Period. He eats when he is hungry and stops when he is full. Nobody can force him to eat another piece of cake or another piece of pizza if he is done. And that, according to me, is the key to a healthy relationship with food – Moderation, knowing your hunger cues and eating mindfully – and not some forced restriction labeling food as “healthy” or “junk”.
Of course, I would love our son to make good choices all the time, but a ban on junk food will only make them fascinating to him. And when you label something “DO NOT EAT THIS”, our minds are programmed to visualize “EATING THIS” before it can add a negation to it. A ban will invariably mean that our son would go “junk food crazy” when I am not looking. And that surreptitious binge eating is way more dangerous, in my view, than letting him eat it, guilt-free, .
In today’s world, pizzas, burgers, cakes, and pastries are inescapable. One may strictly prohibit them at home but who will keep tabs when the children are outside? At a friend’s home perhaps or at someone’s birthday party or even a school outing? Do children have that level of self-restraint?
For that matter, does anyone else?
And to think of it, if I really start banning food items, I may have to ban almost every food on earth including pesticide laden fruits, vegetables, and grains, growth-hormone injected poultry, dairy and eggs, toxic fish and what not. But that is simply not possible, is it?
So, without jumping into the food wars with blazing guns and vowing to banish junk food from this world for eternity, what I can try, instead, is to impart whatever limited information I have on the subject over a period of time as our son grows up and help him be a discerning individual equipped to make an educated choice …most of the times, that is.
And of course, an occasional junk food diet of midnight ice cream will always be welcome in my home. : )
Daisy Suman quit her Solution Architect job working for one of world’s Top IT Firms, TCS after a stint of 12 years in September 2014 to stay home with her son. These days, when she is not busy trying to keep up with her 4.5-year-old, she can be seen fervently typing away for her parenting blog FertileBrains, dabbling in creative writing (short stories mainly) or networking with fellow parents around the globe through various social media channels. Her work has been featured on BabyCenter Blog and BlogHer; and few of her article links have been shared on the home page of Brain, Child Magazine. You can follow Daisy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram